Hi there, it’s Robin.
In the past decade, we saw the prolific growth of tech companies in mobile, social media, and e-commerce sectors– the core drivers of the internet economy.
However, it seems that a pivot is happening as internet penetration in some countries appears to be slowing down. Chinese tech firms have responded by jumping on another new wave, in addition to their international expansion plans.
Artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and the internet of things (IoT) seem to be the new trend for them.
For example, China is increasingly seeing growing investments in AI. Many new startups are exploring ways in which the technology can improve efficiency and business profits. And the race is definitely on to catch up with the US – the leader in the AI field.
As for blockchain, China’s recent expansion of its ban on crypto events beyond its capital city is itself a sign of how widely popular blockchain-based virtual currencies are these days. Ono, China’s blockchain-based social network, VV Go platform (blockchain-based ride-hailing alternative), and imToken (China’s ethereum wallet) are just some cases in point.
In terms of the push to go abroad, the scale and intensity have been ramping up over the past week.
Xiaomi, for instance, is moving beyond just selling affordable smartphones in India. Xiaomi is now only one step away from launching Mi Pay in India. This is in addition to its bold plan to invest in an Indian train schedule app alongside Google.
Another key area of focus for these Chinese tech mammoths would be Southeast Asia. The low internet penetration rates, huge population size, and the many similarities with the old China could be some of the reasons why.
Furthermore, Southeast Asia’s huge opportunities are attracting more attention, not just from the Chinese investors, and the competition is only going to get more intense. Indonesia, the largest country in the region, for instance, is already in the midst of an e-commerce boom.
More importantly, there are also local rivals to fight against. This week, for example, we saw the Southeast Asian on-demand giant, Grab, pledging another $250m for Indonesia via its venture arm. Grab also boldly claimed that it has a strong lead in Indonesia, effectively sending a strong message to its close rival Go-Jek.
Read on to find out more interesting stories from last week, and feel free to tip us if you have news clue or you just want to talk with us, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we are looking forward to hearing from you.
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